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|Title:||Vacant Niches and the Possible Operation of Natural Laws in Ecosystems||Contributor(s):||Rohde, Klaus (author)||Publication Date:||2008||Handle Link:||https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6912||Abstract:||Woodley  suggests that natural platonic laws may operate in ecosystems. He bases this claim on two kinds of "law-like behaviour" observed in nature: 1) adaptations towards specialization which can be looked at as typological lineage degeneration in which specialization makes species more sensitive to environmental perturbations; 2) occurrence of convergently evolved forms which suggest a limited number of niches or possible organismal body plans (Platonic moulds). In this paper, I critically review the evidence given by Woodley, concluding that "natural laws" may well exist in ecosystems, but that evidence for lineage degeneration as a "lawful" process in evolution from archetypes to more specialized forms which are more susceptible to environmental perturbations, and for filling of niche space, is faulty. "Vacant niche" is a valid and useful term, which draws attention to the non-saturation of niche space and non-equilibrium conditions in nature.||Publication Type:||Journal Article||Source of Publication:||Rivista di Biologia [Biology Forum], 101(1), p. 13-21||Publisher:||Tilgher-Genova||Place of Publication:||Italy||ISSN:||0035-6050
|Field of Research (FOR):||060899 Zoology not elsewhere classified||Peer Reviewed:||Yes||HERDC Category Description:||C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal||Other Links:||http://www.tilgher.it/chrCorrelati/upload/doc/RB_Att._biol._20080630.pdf||Statistics to Oct 2018:||Visitors: 139
|Appears in Collections:||Journal Article|
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